Learning from demonstration for hydraulic manipulators

Markku Suomalainen, Janne Koivumäki, Santeri Lampinen, Ville Kyrki, Jouni Mattila

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents, for the first time, a method for learning in-contact tasks from a teleoperated demonstration with a hydraulic manipulator. Due to the use of extremely powerful hydraulic manipulator, a force-reflected bilateral teleoperation is the most reasonable method of giving a human demonstration. An advanced subsystem-dynamic-based control design framework, virtual decomposition control (VDC),~is~used to design a stability-guaranteed controller for~the teleoperation system, while taking into account the full nonlinear dynamics of the master and slave manipulators. The use~of~fragile~force/ torque sensor at the tip of the hydraulic slave manipulator is avoided by estimating the contact forces from the manipulator actuators' chamber pressures. In the proposed learning method, it is observed that a surface-sliding tool has a friction-dependent range of directions (between the actual direction of motion and the contact force) from which the manipulator can apply force to produce the sliding motion. By this intuition, an intersection of these ranges can be taken over a motion to robustly find~a desired direction for the motion from one or more demonstrations. The compliant axes required to reproduce the motion can be found by assuming that all motions outside the desired direction is caused by the environment, signalling the need for compliance. Finally, the learning method is incorporated to a novel VDC-based impedance control method to learn compliant behaviour from teleoperated human demonstrations. Experiments with 2-DOF hydraulic manipulator with a 475kg payload demonstrate the suitability and effectiveness of the proposed method to perform learning from demonstration (LfD) with heavy-duty hydraulic manipulators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018
Place of PublicationUnited States
Pages3579 - 3586
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-8094-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-8095-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - Madrid Municipal Conference Centre (MMCC), Madrid, Spain
Duration: 1 Oct 20185 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


ConferenceIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Abbreviated titleIROS
Internet address


  • hydraulic systems
  • force
  • task analysis
  • manipulator dynamics
  • impedance
  • control design


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